09 Oct 2018

Performances when it counted, Azerbaijan’s Ning Jing, Italy’s Jamila Laurenti and Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan responded as the group stage of the Women’s Singles event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games came to a close on the evening of Monday 8th October.

All accounted for higher rated adversaries, by so doing they reserved second positions in their respective groups and thus places in the main draw.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Ning Jing, the no.18 seed, beat Romania’s Andreea Dragoman, the no.13 seed, in six games (7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3) and thus ended the hopes of Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling, the no.3 seed. On the opening day of action Su Pei-Ling had beaten Ning Jing in seven games (3-11, 11-3, 16-18, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8) but had then lost to Andreea Dragoman in four straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9).

Three players level, games ratio determined the outcome; it was first place for Andreea Dragoman (6:4), followed Ning Jing (7:6) and Su Pei-Ling (4:7). Players finishing in first and second places in each group advanced to the main draw, thus for Su Pei-Ling it was the end of the road.

A fine effort from Ning Jing, it was the same from Jamila Laurenti, the no.19 seed, who accounted for Germany’s Franziska Schreiner, the no.14 seed (11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4), as it was from Goi Rui Xuan, the no.21 seed. She concluded her initial phase programme by emerging successful against Egypt’s Marwa Alhodaby, the no.12 seed (11-7, 8-11, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6).

Jamila Laurenti finished next in line to Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz, the no.4 seed who maintained her unbeaten record by overcoming Malaysia’s Alice Li Sian Chang, the no.29 seed; for Goi Rui Xuan, it was second place behind India’s Archana Girish Kamath, the no.6 seed. She terminated her first phase contests by recording a five games success in opposition to Slovenia’s Aleksandra Vovk, the no.26 seed (12-14, 11-3, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5).

The defeat of Alice Li Sian Chang means that no defensive player reached the main draw, she was the only player extolling the art; very different to 2010 in Singapore. Exercising their backspin artistry the host association’s Isabelle Siyun Li, Japan’s Ayuka Tanioka and DPR Korea’s Kim Song I in addition to Moldova’s Olga Bliznet all reached the quarter-finals!

Surprise runners up places and there were two surprise first places as matters concluded in the Women’s Singles event on the second day of action. Amy Wang of the United States, the no.9 seed, hitherto unbeaten, lost to Slovakia’s Tatiana Kukulkova, the no.23 seed (8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5). It was the only success for the Slovakian.

“It was a tough match and I’m so happy to be able to comeback from one-three down to win the match, especially because she’s higher ranked than me on the world ranking. I lost both my matches previously so I told myself that I need to win this. At one-three down, I kept telling myself that I have to win and I’m really happy that I made it.” Tatiana Kukulkova

Meanwhile, at the same time, Serbia’s Sabina Surjan, the no.5 seed, beat Korea Republic’s Cho Haeeun, the no.28 seed (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7). The outcome was that Amy Wang and Sabina Surjan concluded the group with two wins apiece; in such instances it is the contest between the two players in question that decides. On the opening day Amy Wang had beaten Sabina Surjan (15-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-6) and thus reserved first position with Sabina Surjan in runners up spot.

Somewhat differently, Mariia Tailakova, the no.24 seed maintained her unbeaten record to secure top spot; in her concluding first phase engagement, she accounted for Thailand’s Jinnipa Sawettabut (12-10, 11-4, 11-8, 11-9). Second place finished in the hands of Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yee, the no.8 seed: she ended the day on a high note by overcoming Finland’s Annika Lundström, the no.25 seed (11-2, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6).

First place contrary to predictions, for Brazil’s Bruna Takahashi, the no.7 seed, it was as anticipated. She secured top spot by beating Fiji’s Grace Rosi Yee, the no.27 seed (11-7, 11-1, 11-3, 11-6); second position finished in the hands of Poland’s Anna Wegrzyn, the no.11 seed. In her final first phase contest, she ended the hopes of New Zealand’s Vong Hui Ling, the no.22 seed (11-5, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4).

The first round and quarter-final matches in the Women’s Singles event will be played on Tuesday 9th October.

Round One

Miu Hirano (Japan) v Jamila Laurenti (Italy)
Zdena Blaskova (Czech Republic) v Mariia Tailakova (Russia)
Amy Wang (United States) v Goi Rui Yuan (Singapore)
Anna Wegrzyn (Poland) v Andreea Dragoman (Romania)
Adriana Diaz (Puerto Rico) v Ning Jing (Azerbaijan)
Lee Ka Yee (Hong Kong) v Archana Girish Kamath (India)
Bruna Takahashi (Brazil) v Sabina Surjan (Serbia)
Pyong Song Gyong (DPR Korea) v Sun Yingsha (China)

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games Ning Jing

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Day 9 - Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games